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Topic: Bargello quilting - advice needed  (Read 1326 times)
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« on: June 03, 2011 01:17:48 PM »

Hi folks,

I'm making a bargello quilt for some friends who are getting married, and I'm a little stumped as to how to quilt it. I know the standard for bargello is to quilt through the squares on the diagonal, but I'm not sure I want to do that. I want the focus for this quilt to be on the colours, and I kind of feel like that method of quilting would detract from them. But I don't particularly just want to quilt in the ditch either. Any suggestions on what to do? I've attached a link to picture of the top so you can see what I'm working on.


I should mention that I usually hand quilt and this is my first machine quilt, so whatever quilting is suggested should be simple. I don't really know what I'm doing on the machine yet.

« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2011 06:27:35 PM »

not that it's simple, but I would quilt feathers in the different colors following the design. So feathers in the reds, in the purples, in the blues. I wouldn't "ruin" such a beautiful quilt with stippling/meander. Look up "hooked on Feathers for a simplified version of producing feathers.

I used that method on these 2 quilts:


« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2011 08:07:08 PM »

Okay, first of all? regarding your quilt design? Holy. Crap. .... that is just stunning.

I totally understand not wanting to just go across the boxes in straight lines- I wouldn't either. That being said, for a first machine quilt, free-motion is REALLY difficult. If you've got good hand-eye-foot co-ordination, then it'd be okay, but I'd practice a LOT first. I'd really want to make those colours stand out, so were it my quilt, I would carefully mark a curving line that follows the sharp contrast, and then echo that at intervals. Start at the centre and work out, go slow, and be patient with yourself. I'd also probably go with either a coordinating thread for each line, (matching up with whatever colour it lands on) or something like a monofilament. The other way I'd do it is to go in the ditch all the way down, carefully, - I think that'd really make it stand out, as well.

Good luck, and I really, really can't wait to see the finished project - make sure you update this thread with a link when you're done!
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2011 09:03:20 PM »

What a beautiful top!  The colors are so vibrant and there's a lot of movement.  It's really well done!

I know you said you don't like the diagonal thing, but have you seen the stitching in this thread?
https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=376173.0  For me it helps the eye follow the colors rather than separating them.  I'm sorry I don't have anything different to offer, but I'm with anaximander and can't wait to see the finished product!

There's one in every family, and I'm an only child.
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2011 05:46:20 AM »

Thanks, everyone. I'm really excited about how it turned out. I'll take credit for the rainbow colours, but not the design - it's from the book "Twist and Turn Bargello Quilts" by Eileen Wright. I was a little terrified going in because it's a) my first bargello and b) my first machine quilt, but once I got going it was actually quite straightforward.

On the quilting, the feather idea looks lovely but I think it might be a bit complicated for my first go at machine quilting, especially considering all I've done on the machine so far is sew straight lines! If I'm feeling brave I might try some in the black borders. I'm not sure stitching in the ditch is an option with this quilt, just given the number of seams and the fact that some of the finished rows are only 1/4" - not much space to manoeuvre. The diagonals in the quilt Eamea posted do actually work well to make the colours pop (instead of drawing the eye to the diagonals like what seems to happen on most other bargellos I've seen) - if I can figure out what they did there to make the colours the focus I might try that.

I will definitely come back and post the finished result, hopefully some time soon! The wedding's in early August, so I've got two months to finish this thing.

« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2011 06:44:44 AM »

What about stitching in the center of the colours, following the pattern that the colours make, using a similar coloured thread? So, take the dark blue squares, for example. Grab a dark blue thread, and stitch in the center of it -- you'd end up with 9 separate 'pieces' of blue thread. This way you can color match to the fabric, and since it's following the pattern (and therefore not using 1 colour thread and crossing into all colours) it won't stand out as much. You might want to do a test run beforehand and figure out where to start and stop the thread for the top part (where it curves) so it doesn't look odd on the backing.
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2011 09:32:54 PM »

I think what works about the quilt that was linked - the one with the stitching - is that they went through every other line, not just every one, and thus it softens the lines, because there's some dimension.
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